NTPC to add 5.7 GW this year, borrow Rs 12,500 cr

NTPC Ltd, the public sector power producer, will add 5,680 MW of power generation capacity this year and spend about Rs 22,300 cr on capital projects, the power ministry said. 

Out of the Rs 22,300 cr required for capital expenditure this year, Rs 12,468 cr will be borrowed and the remaining will be raised via the equity route, the ministry added.

The number are less than the off-the-record guidance given by sources February. At the time, sources had indicated that the company would add 6,900 MW by March 2019, and also borrow Rs 16,000 cr in 2018-19.

NTPC is India’s largest power producer and accounts for about 25% of India’s total electricity production capacity.

It is among the few companies in India still investing in creating new coal-powered projects.

Last year, solar power had overtaken coal power as the cheapest source of energy in India.

While solar power producers supplying power at Rs 2.44 to 2.92 per unit of electricity, power produced from coal is selling for more than Rs 3.00 per unit, excluding the health and environmental costs. Including health and environmental factors, the cost of coal power is likely to be much higher.

India has total coal-power capacity of around 200 gigawatt, out of which NTPC accounts for about 55 GW.

In comparison, India has around 23 GW of solar power capacity.

However, unlike coal plants, whose output be as high as 90% of their total capacity, solar plants generate only around 18% of their capacity on average due to lack of sunlight much of the time.

NTPC is working on creating another 20.2 GW of coal-powered plants and around 0.8 GW of hydropower plants.

Out of the 20.2 GW of coal-powered capacity, 5.68 GW is expected to come online in the current financial year ending March 2019, while the remaining will come online later.